I love it when the time changes in the fall.  Everything falls back into place.  I can wake up to daylight, watch twilight fall in the late afternoon and eat dinner after dark, all of which seem right to my biological clock.  Plus we get that hour back that was plucked from our lives by Daylight Savings Time.  How did you spend yours?

I have promised myself to use that hour cleaning some of the clutter that is beginning to accumulate in piles around me.  There’s a pile of catalogs at the front door, a pile of pantry items that all of a sudden seem to have found a home on my kitchen table, and my desk must either be sorted out or burnt to the ground.  (I’m favoring the latter, if I could only find some matches!) Plus errands are piling up – things to be mailed, things to be recycled, things to be hunted and gathered.  None of which I want to do.

I want to knit and that’s what I’ve been doing.  Easy things that take little thought, that can easily be put down when something else comes up, that can be taken with me and worked on without instructions.  I made a simple hat with the fuzzy Andean Mist I showed you last week:

I based it on the Brunswick Beanie, a free Ravelry pattern from Sue Grandfield, but changed to stockinette stitch after about 3″ of k1, p1 ribbing.  It was enough already.  Turned out cute, and you can wear it slouchy or not:

The very soft yarn would also make a great chemo cap.

I made this very pretty scarf from 2 balls of Millefiori from Berroco (these are the new colors this year):

with our free Chevron Scarf pattern.  I love the way it turned out and the pattern is just interesting enough to keep you awake:

And I have just embarked on a Railroad Rib scarf (also free pattern with purchase) using a strand of plain fingering with a strand of Zauberball (new colors just in:)

I’m using these two colors:

And these are some other ideas:

and there are only about 1,000 more!

Come in and choose your combo.  You’ve got that extra hour to browse and play!

 

It’s been a while since I posted, and there’s so much to talk about and show you that I don’t even know how to start.  I want to show you customer projects from this summer, but I also want to show you new yarns that have been coming in, and I also just want to ramble on about this and that.

I’ll start with some customer projects today:

Susie Drake took Karen’s Eternal Optimist class this summer and brought in her completed scarf to show.  The color is stunning and the beads are beautiful accents:

Mary Ellen Leidy took Karen’s Modern Wrapper Fine class in the spring, just after getting a new puppy!  It took a little while to finish the wrapper, in between walks, play, and training sessions for Keiko, but she did it!  It’s a beautiful fit, a beautiful color, and beautiful workmanship:

Cindy Schuchart took my Corella hat class this summer, in between vacations with a house full of kids and grandkids.  She made a beautiful hat and got comfortable with charts as well.

Cindy also made this pretty poncho for her daughter-in-law from our in-house free pattern.  Finished in plenty of time for fall, the poncho is perfect!

Virginia Griffith made this great open-work tunic from two colors of Shibui Twig.  (So sorry for  the photo. Take my word for it, it’s really pretty!)

Debby Andrews finished this pretty feather-and-fan tam, then made a cowl in the same stitch pattern to match.  She’s all set for cool weather:

Anne Alderman made these two good-looking summer tops, plus one or two more, plus some hats…and on and on…!

Jill Pelchar made this great hoodie for her daughter, who models it beautifully!

Linda Seifarth loves small projects.  She made the adorable hat and the in-process headband for a grand who, I think, is heading to Penn State. The beautiful Touch-Me scarf is in her own favorite color.  The headband pattern and the scarf patterns are ours and are free with purchase:

Anne Nordhoy made up her own bunch of blocks for this afghan, made from scraps from other projects.  It’s amazing!

However, the belle of the blog has got to be this challenging sweater Amy Wall made for her nephew Joey – cables, steeks and all!  He obviously adores it; you don’t see bigger smiles than this:

Many thanks to everyone who sends me photos or takes the time to bring in finished projects.  It’s a real joy to see them!

 

 

Well, it was fun, and it’s almost over, and I have to admit I’m glad.  I don’t know about you, but when I’m at loose ends for too long, I tend to fall into bad habits – the same bad habits I fight against all the time: too much couch time, too many snacks, too few chores or useful projects.  I did enjoy the first half, though.  I went to my home town for a bridal shower for the daughter and future son-in-law – both so sweet – of one of my cousins.  It was given by the daughters of another of my cousins, and it was great seeing all those lovely folks again.   Another day, I got to have brunch with Maxwell the Great (Nephew) and of course, his mom, dad, and grandmother. He’s cuter than cute, and despite his mother’s warning, there was no food-hurling.  He was very, very good!

I also bought some wonderful yarn for the fall and thought wistfully about the big yarn show in Columbus, which is happening this coming weekend.  Really, it’s better if I don’t go, I just get into trouble (inventory-wise, not in any interesting way) but – all that beautiful yarn in one place!!!!

The only knitting I did was to finish Pearl, the sweater I’m teaching later this summer.  It knit up like a dream in Plymouth’s Worsted Merino Superwash.  I made it in PINK (extreme pink-ness) and it’s pretty cute.  I can only do a bad photo right now because it’s still damp so I dare not stretch or hang it, but here it is:

I made two modifications to this version:  (1) I used German short rows instead of wrap-and-turns for the shoulders and the sleeve caps, and (2)  I did only 1 lace motif at the neckline and didn’t carry it down the front, just to show that you can make it this way if you wish to.  The next one I do (which will be while the class is knitting it) will have the lace the whole way down the front.

See how happy she looks? I like the verticality of the lace column, and it won’t be so tedious to knit the body.  The lace is pretty and worth the effort.

In fact, I like everything about this sweater and would be happy to have several in many different colors and fabrics in my wardrobe.  I like 3/4 sleeves, but it would be easy to carry them down to full length. The neckline is flattering and is finished with a neat I-cord bindoff.  The picked-up sleeves have short row caps which are interesting to work, and you can choose whatever your favorite method is to work the sleeves in the round (I used magic loop – if you don’t know how, learn it in our Magic Loop Mitts class.  The classes overlap a little but you’ll know the technique by the time we get to the sleeves and using it in a different application will reinforce your knowledge.)

The length of the sweater is great and easily adjustable, and the a-line silhouette is perfect for my body and easily eliminated if you aren’t quite so cursedly pear-shaped. The light worsted weight wool is good for at least 6 months of the year here. plus it’s machine-washable.  I may end up finishing the drying in the machine, too, just to see how that works.

To sum up, I couldn’t be more pleased with this pattern and the yarn and the result!  Classes are filling up nicely (I love this summer’s schedule) so check them out here.  And heads up if you’re intrigued by lace knitting and beading – Karen’s Eternal Optimist knit-along starts on June 15th! The link will take you to some beautiful projects on Ravelry – then come in to see Karen’s version in person – it’s simply luscious.

By the by, we’ll be closed Saturday June 17th because of Art on the Avenue – you know the drill: no parking, lots of crowds and kids and dogs so lots of frenetic barking on the part of Purl and Jack, lots of hair-pulling and yelling on the part of me – so, sorry!

The summer class schedule has been posted to our website, and I’m so glad the work is done, and I’m also just as pleased as I can be with the roster of classes.  They’re all fun, beautiful projects, all varied in skill levels and I really think that anybody could find something to interest her (or him) in this list.  Check them out here and see what fits into your schedule for the summer.

I had (and am still having – not all are done) a great time knitting some of the projects. The variety of types of projects and the different yarns and techniques have really sparked my knitting mojo, which wanes just like everyone’s from time to time.  After knitting several relatively simple projects using summer yarns, it was pure pleasure to pick up some yummy wools and blends and remember how lovely the process of knitting can be and what fun it is to have to pay attention and concentrate on more complicated patterns.

The Cable and Coin Lace Pillow is a great addition to your favorite couch or chair, a guest room or a den.  I used Ella Rae’s Chunky Merino Superwash,

a tough 100% wool yarn that really is machine washable and dryable.  I know because I tested a swatch by throwing it into the washer and dryer with a load of jeans.  It held up beautifully, even with such terrible treatment, so I know I can really use the pillow without fussing.  You could also double good old Encore to get the same gauge and the same hardy washability. I don’t generally knit with brown for clothing (don’t know why), but this warm shade looks great with my couch’s winter coat, don’t you think? And the orange buttons are just fun. The pattern comprises a simple 3/3 cable and coin lace which is fun to work and difficult to mess up!

Karen is doing a knit-along for this fabulous Eternal Optimist scarf (or shawl), made from Road to China Lace, a lighter version of Road to China Light, a perennial fave that is luscious and luxurious.  One beautiful skein (plus beads, needle, pattern) is what you’ll need for our knit-along on Thursday evenings (starting June 15).  Every section is different, interesting, and fun to do, and the cunning little dangles are really charming. You’ll be completely confident in the face of lace designs once you’ve worked your way through this lovely piece.

Meanwhile, I’m having a quietly exciting time making these Winter Bride’s Gloves.

Now, I already know that you don’t need gloves, you don’t wear gloves, you don’t know anyone who’s getting married outside in December.  This is not a project you do because you or someone you know needs to keep their hands warm.  You don’t think, well, poor Myrtle’s hands are always cold so I’ll make her the fussiest, most time-consuming gloves I can find.  This is the kind of project you do because the gloves are lovely and because you are a knitter and you can make them. Someday you (or someone) will take them out of the tissue paper you’ve wrapped them in, waiting for the appropriate moment to wear them or the right person to give them to, and will gasp at the expertise of the person who made them (even if it was you.)  It’s enough to know you made them – that’s all I’m sayin’.  I’m making them in a totally impractical ice-blue color of Herriott Fine, a softly fuzzy alpaca blend.

I’ve really just started on Pearl, the pullover we’re teaching later in the summer.  I absolutely love working with Plymouth’s Worsted Merino Superwash, very soft and bouncy, a real dream to knit with.  I hope I’ll have photos next week, but I’ll be hither and yon on my week off, so I don’t know.  If you know you want to make it, come in and look at the color cards and I’ll add your favorite to my stock order that’s due in July.

You know we’ll closed next week, right?  You do read emails from me, right?  If not, you also may not know that wonderful Tenzing is on sale because it’s being discontinued (a little sob is catching in my throat).  I used it to make Corella, the hat that I’m teaching this summer, and you also may remember it from our many wonderful models: Curcuma Elements, Natsumi, Groovy, and many (many) more.  You can always tell how we feel about a yarn – those we love we just keep making models because we can’t keep our hands off the yarn.  It would also be splendid for our Magic Loop Mitts class. Come and see!

 

Our customers are so talented and creative and incredibly patient to put up with my terrible photos and my constant pleas of “Can I take a picture?”  I really love seeing finished projects and I hope you do, too!

I’ve linked to patterns on Ravelry when I know them:

Jill Pelchar finished her sampler afghan in Encore Tweed (the booklet is available in print at the shop) from our class last fall/winter.  Pretty colors, and cozy, too:

She also did this wonderful poncho in two colors (doing intarsia for the cable insert) of Huasco DK.  I love the way she looks in it! Sorry, I don’t know the pattern:

Jane Brubaker completed her Modern Wrapper Fine from Karen’s class using Tenzing, and as usual has accessorized it beautifully with a Chevron cowl (pattern is free-with-purchase of yarn at the shop):

Kathleen Delong recently learned to knit, but you’d think she had been doing it all her life.  Her first project class was the Forest Park cowl, then she made our Adult Ribbed Hat (a free-with-purchase pattern at the shop):

then on to the Wildflower cowl (also free-with-purchase):

and she just this week finished her Simple Tee (I’ll have pictures after blocking) and has three more sweaters lined up! Amazing!

Anne Nordhoy, as always, has done an expert job on three intricate projects:

a little tennis sweater which she designed and knit for the new baby of a tennis fan:

this complicated scarf in Zauberball from a Knitter’s Magazine pattern:

and this pretty Architexture scarf (her second or third, I believe) in Huasco DK:

Kathie Holm made this lovely Hydrangea wrap as a gift:

Marci Frey knit this adorable baby sweater for a co-worker.   Sorry, I don’t have the name of the pattern:

Pam Zern made several pairs of these Last-Minute Mittlets in luscious cashmere:

David Ritz, even though we don’t see him much these days, keeps in touch, and sent this picture of the Wildflower Cowl he made:

Nadine Lyon fell in love with the rainbow colors of our Sueno colorpacks and made this adorable Bounce baby blanket:

Kim Lally picked a great color of Olympia from Lana Grossa, and made a gorgeous poncho from their booklet of patterns (available at the shop):

Suzy Crump knit this lovely wrap (called Void) from Amirisu magazine for one of her cherished daughters-in-law:

Karen Wenrich used up dozens of fingering-weight left-overs from her many shawls and made this wonderful linen stitch wrap.  I don’t know if she used a pattern but Churchmouse’s  would certainly work:

Phew!  Overwhelming, yes?  Let’s go knit something wonderful!

I have been hoarding photos of customers’ projects until I had nothing to talk about, but I think we all need a break from the never-ending flood of new yarns coming into the shop, don’t you?  So I’m going to show you a few impressive projects today and one non-impressive but cute little thing I did. Okay, maybe just a  smidge of new yarn…

 

WRAP WEEK!

Carol Sullivan made this beautiful wrap designed by Deborah Newton to wear to a knitting retreat on Block Island.  Deborah, who wrote the classic Designing Knitwear, was teaching at the retreat!  Love the wrap and the view!

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Marci Frey made this pretty shawl during the Downton Abbey MKAL last spring/summer.  It started at the center and grew from there!

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Karen Walter made this beauty.  No surprise, it’s a gorgeous job!:

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Sarah Ruppert deserves a post all her own.  She has fallen in love with knitting shawls and delights in figuring out the most complicated patterns.  She came in early this fall with a pile of finished shawls to share with us.  She’s running out of people to give them to, so was going to see if the Women’s Exchange (sorry, it’s now called It’s A Gift) would be interested in selling them. I hope so, they are exquisitely made, in only the finest yarn available.

Without further comment:

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Can I get an OMG???

So here’s a little laugh for you.  My big accomplishment in knitting for the week was this cute little pair of thumbless mitts for Maxwell the Great (Nephew) knit in a fun color of Jelli Beenz.  Took less than an hour apiece, and I crocheted a chain between them so they could thread through his sleeves.  They’re from a mitten pattern for babies and kids up to 12 called Little Waiting for Winter by Susan B. Anderson, available on Ravelry.

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Ta-da!

One little bit of new yarn stuff because it’s so neat and really selling out fast and Janet had such good ideas about how to use it.  We received Happy feet Splash last week in all these great colors:

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Janet found these fun patterns to use them with a bit of stash (or maybe with a gradient set?):

This one is called Scarfy Thing:

Picture: Miki Barlok

and this one is called Outline:

Picture: Miki Barlok

(Pictures: Miki Barlok)

Both designs are available through Hedgehog Fibers’ website, which you can reach through the Ravelry links if you click on the photos. Don’t they look like fun?  Just figuring out colors would be a blast, and here are a few ideas using Cheshire Cat gradients from Frabjous Fibers:

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Okay, enough for one week! See you soon!

This project was great fun, from choosing colors throughout the knitting, and soon, I hope, the wearing!

My colors, all lined up and ready to knit:

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Complete! (Well, it wasn’t as instant as that, but the knitting is easy and pleasant.)

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A nice cozy size, light fabric, a pretty piece:

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Lots of colors to choose from:

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Come have some fun!

These last few cooler days have prompted me to think about what I would like to have for the coming season.  Even though it’s going to get hot again in a day or so, my fingers and toes are feeling a bit chilly this morning, reminding me that my favorite gloves, knit years ago from Mountain Goat from Mountain Colors are wearing a bit thin in the fingertips.  I’m wanting a new pair in some bright color.  These are so pretty

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and these (from Veronik Avery’s book Knitting 24/7) are just beautifully classic.

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Cable-knit sweaters are big (sweaters are big, both in popularity and in size!) so I’m working on one now, in Kathmandu Aran, a lightly textured blend of merino, silk and cashmere.  Cozy to wear, delightful to knit, it’s due to hit the shop this week in about a dozen colors.  My sweater is based on this pattern,

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with a few mods (as usual).

I want this sweater

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in a couple of colors.  This photo has been on my desktop for months; I thought about it for a summer sweater.  Thank goodness I didn’t knit it for summer – it has been too hot for any sweater in any weight.  It’s an old Tahki pattern and I have no idea where it’s from, but it’s a simple design and I might just make a pattern for it.  I love a basic sweater in a pretty color that can be thrown on over jeans or black pants, and I’m out the door.

I’m contemplating a wonderful wrap in several colors – I have a mouth-watering array of magenta-through-hyacinth blue colors

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coming in Silky Wool this week, I just can’t wait to see them – and want to make something along these lines:

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or this:

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And for little Maxwell the Great (Nephew), I want to make a few pairs of socks for those long skinny little feet, a cute hat or two, and some thumbless mitts with a long string in between that can thread through sleeves so they don’t get lost.  Another 8-Hour Baby Blanket might be in order, with a bit of extra length to keep him covered and cozy.

Plus I have 2 must-finish-or-rip projects that have been hanging around and nagging at me way too long.  A resolution must be found!

So, what are you planning?

Sometimes I like to search Ravelry for patterns in some way that I haven’t tried before.  I search Ravelry a lot but it’s mostly for patterns for a certain weight of yarn or certain type of garment to get ideas for projects you all might like.   If you put in different parameters, it’s surprising what different results you might see.

I love looking at the way people put colors together.  Since I’m deep into project that I’m not 100% sure about, I needed a break.  Knitting like that is not relaxing.  I’m designing something not exactly from scratch (it uses a stitch pattern from one design and a shape from another) so I’m not sure if weeks of knitting is really going to yield something wearable, and that’s what it’s all about in the end, right?  Anyway, I needed a break and to waste a little time, so I browsed Ravelry (oooh, I wish this stupid computer would not keep correcting that to revelry!) patterns on free and stripes-colorwork and recently-added, and just looked.  It was refreshing and I found some fun patterns.

It all started with this pattern, which is not free but should be.  I love how they mixed up the stripes and colors!

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It’s doubled lace weight mohair, knit at a worsted gauge and if you’re any good at all at math, with the finished size and gauge you should be able to easily calculate the number of stitches to cast on.  Then it’s change colors at will and knit till you run out.  Simple, yet very pretty and absolutely worth doing if you want an easy project that will pay off big-time.

Then I saw this cute idea.

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Five BFF’s bought gradient packs and designed their own cowls.  Three (so far) have published free patterns.  If you’ve tried stranded knitting, go for it with whatever is in your stash.

Here is another stranded pattern but easier-peasier:

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Love the way the stranding merges the colors.

I’ve seen lots of these wonderful wraps that use up the leftover skeins from other projects in different colors of the same weight.  Pashmina Stripes is an easy free version:

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Other fun free and colorful patterns I found:

Drops’ Tide Rose with lots of short rows for interesting stripes:

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Lemons to Limes Shawl that makes its own gradient effect:

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Ein Tag am Meer (A Day at the Sea), a great summer top in a nice range of sizes:

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These easy and colorful designs are so appealing at this time of year.  Ravelry designers are so generous!  Go find your own free colorful inspiration!

After months (it seems) of brain-dead knitting – lots and lots of stockinette on small needles), I’ve had it!  I needed some stitchwork, some texture, something all pattern stitch-y and marker-y. Pay attention-y.

So I started the Northern Trail Wrap (see last week’s post) and it was really fun –  and I got a little obsessed and finished it!  In Astral, an alpaca/Tencel blend, it flows off your needles like it was made of pure water. The pattern was easy to follow and is both charted and written out. The stitches used are simple and mostly reversible. The fabric gleams. It drapes. It runs through your fingers like a sleek pelt.  The beautiful gem-like tones are dark but, because the fabric reflects light so well, they don’t hide the stitchwork.  I love it when a pattern and a yarn work so well together.

Inspiration (thanks to Mary Ellen):

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Beginning:

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Blocking:

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Done!

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Which color is yours?

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I must share this sweet photo of Maxwell the Great (Nephew) in his Hooded Beach Towel.  Knit in Rub-A-Dub, it’s soft, absorbent and cuddly for aprés-bath napping:

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Classes start again next weekend – hooray!  Hope you had a Fabulous Fourth!